Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Whole Story

Let's go through the whole story of what happened yesterday. It was tons of fun and is part of the reason why I hurt so much yesterday. I have to say, one Vicadin into the day, I'm still sore but I don't think I'm as bad off as yesterday (this was posted earlier this morning - took 2 more Vicadin, a Mucinex and saw Eng beat Wales in rugby so I'm all better now! :)

We arrived just prior to 0730 and registration wasn't available yet so they just sent us on to surgery. It was there that I started things off right. As I'm holding the door open for my wife, I let my hand slide down along the emergency release bar and my pinky found its way into the housing of the release bar, proceeding to get stuck and twisting/pinching my pink causing me to scream, "ouch!" and having my wife and the three nurses enjoying their pre-surgery coffee to look at me as if I was "one of those people". "Any blood?" and "do you need anesthesia" were the two laughing comments I received. No blood, no foul - they sent me back to the room to don the hospital fashions: smock, robe, footies and a beautiful blue hair net - 'in fashion you're either in, or your out'! They then showed me the catheter that will be put in (see prior pic) which had me a bit nervous. As I mentioned to my brother today, this isn't like a piece of soft, flexible aquarium tubing - this is a bit stiff (see my reference to not being able to put my arm over my head for confirmation on this point.)

I avoided all thought on the catheter and was met by the nurse, anesthesiologist and, finally, the Doctor. All of them gave me the warnings - nausea, going under, you didn't eat anything, how much do you weigh - but the one that caught me most off guard was the fact that we are putting a pointy piece of plastic into a vein in your chest - and there is the slightest (really slight) chance that we may puncture a lung - , "you're ok w/ that, correct?" "uhhh....sure doc!"

Then it was time - and Lil was brought to the waiting room while I was brought to the OR. I've never been to the OR before. I've only seen the OR on TV or in movies. I've never been to the OR before - and it caught me COMPLETELY OFF GUARD!

My first thought was either Star Trek or Aliens - it was all white, centrally focused on one area, very clean and two big important looking lights over an extremely narrow operating table. I know I paused upon entry - it all got VERY real!!! I sat down on the table, which was heated so I was fine in the gorgeous hospital smock (that of course, opened in the back). There was a towel rolled, and placed lengthwise on the table so that it sat under my spine causing my shoulders to roll down (thus opening them for easier entry). Everything started happening at once - one of the male nurses ("do you need any anestehsia" from before) said, "hi - how's your pinky?" I couldn't recognize anyone due to the mask. I asked them if I could get a mask (and I think I was ignored). The anesthesiologist (i need to find a shorter way of saying that - it's tough to type) then started to put in the IV with a convenient table attachment that my arm can rest on.

Now this guy was all about effieciency - I've been through quite a few IV's in the recent months and can tell the good, the bad and the ugly. He was hideous - it hurt, he then taped it down, pushed on it a few times for good measure and started it flowing. He then went to the other side, wrapped my arm in the blanket over me and then tucked it under the table pad so my arm would stay in place. My shoulders were wider than the table by about two inches on either side, if he didn't do this, my arm would have hung by the side of the table. He then returned to the other side, took my arm w/ the IV and proceeded to wrap that arm, giving a few good nudges to the IV, and tucking it under the pad. At that, he removed the table attachment. While this was going on, the other nurse proceeded to strap me in - big belt around the legs and waist, pulled tight so I didn't roll off. I went from Aliens to Frankenstein in no time flat!

The doc then walked in (couldn't recognize him due to the mask) and asked how I was doing. I told him I wasn't prepped for the OR - had to repeat this as one, I was a had a bit of nervous laughter and two, his hearing aid wasn't working too well (forgot to mention that earlier!) The table then started to tilt up at the feet and I was told to expect a warm sensation in the IV to which I replied, "I don't feel anything warm but I think it's starting to work as I'm feeling kind offfffff.......(out cold)."

They then started moving me around and I was a bit pissed - I mean, why couldn't they get me in the right place so we can just get this done and over with.... Then I realized we were over and done with. They asked me to step down and sit in a chair - at my first step I said, "wow, this stuff is good." They then covered me with two warm blankets and rolled me out to the recovery area. I fell asleep for a bit, then the nurse came and took my BP and Temp. He told me to go back to sleep but by that time I was up and he got my wife for me. He also asked if I'd like anything to drink and brought me a great cup of coffee, graham crackers, peanut butter crackers, etc. The xray tech came in later and took pix and also told me where to get the best bacon, egg and cheese on a roll (which was exactly what my "doctor" had ordered after going through all this crap! I then had the bright idea of posting the xray and he burned me a disk of the shot and my last three bone surveys!

Two nurses came back and started fixing me up, removing the IV, etc. Apparently I was fine. One talked to Lil about the customer service survey they'd like me to complete (WTF?) and the other proceeded to tell me I shouldn't be operating heavy machinery, driving a car, signing any documents (really, I'm not supposed to sign anything - not like I had any big contract signing scheduled that day, but really?) He then told me that for the next 12 hours I should only have oatmeal or something bland like that, "...uh, so no bacon, egg and cheese on a roll?" "Oh no, anything that might repeat on you wouldn't be good as you may get sick". I nodded my head while crossing my fingers - nothing's keeping me from that BEC on a roll! I spent the next hour waiting on my Neupogen injection as the nurse that usually gives them was out and everyone was a bit flustered. We finally finished and left for the BEC!!! I never did get to registration - I wonder who's paying for all this?

Instead of going to the technician's recommendation we found a quaint coffee shop that had great coffee and a BEC on a roll. Only issue here was the roll was a very fresh, very healthy multi-grain nut roll - not the greasy spoon I was hoping for. But that's ok - there was fun to be had here! The place was small, three two-tops by the window and only about 6 other tables in the place. There were three girls taking up most of the right side of the restaurant so we took the middle table by the window. While doing this, a guy walks in, survey's the tables and sits at the one next to ours - I mean really! Worse - he brought in a Starbucks coffee and sandwich from across the street! But wait, there's more - he's an actor and was studying his lines - "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor", "But Margie, I really DO love you", "This town isn't big enough for the two of us", "Let me introduce you to my leetle friend!" I sat there quietly and ate my BEC and tried to talk to my wife. But in another, alternative universe, I was turning to this guy saying, "go back to Jersey and don't quit your bartending job - you suck!" It was the meds speaking, I think the nurse had earlier mentioned, "don't sit next to any dufuses in a Chelsea coffee shop" in addition to the contract signing.

I decided I didn't want to go home and instead ventured to the Apple Store - this was my first big mistake. I should have gone home and gotten the Vicadin - as you saw from my previous posts, I fell to its sultry suggestions rather quickly as I was sore with a capital ORE! But no, we went to SoHo and found the Apple Store and proceeded to chew this guy's ear for 45 minutes. I finally realized he may be sick of me when I said I've no more questions and thank you. To my surprise he asked if he could ask me a question (much to my wife's dismay and crestfallen face as she was sure we were finally going to be able to leave). He asked my thoughts on the iPad - to which I then needed to talk for another 20 minutes and display my Kindle. We finally left and it was the worst subway ride ever - I was beat.

I got home and immediately sent my wife off to CVS for the vicadin. I laid down, only to find out that really hurt. I spent the rest of the day trying to find a comfortable position sitting on the bed watching primtimetv on demand (catching up on Caprica). She came back at one point and I thought, "finally, the drugs have arrived", only to be told it would be another 20 minutes before she could pick them up. The rest of the day was uneventful - I was able to update posts, pull my xray pix and finally call my mother. The vicadin didn't seem to do anything and now I was really getting that chest cold that had been creeping up on me. My poor brother - he had been fielding all my mother's calls as she didn't want to bother me or potentially wake me up as my one post, early in the morning, said I can't take calls! I give her credit - she listened!

That's all for now - this seemed a bit drawn out - I hope you enjoyed it - it's much better in the telling rather than the writing!

1 comment:

patrick said...

for future reference.. Le Bonbonniere (28 Eighth Ave) is a great greasy spoon just down the street from St. Vincent's.